Hold a Minute: Venezuela challenges Guyana’s deepwater oil search

But the Hugo Chavez administration has so far remained mum on the issue that has generated headlines here.

A prominent geologist, Aníbal Martínez, with the Venezuelan Petroleum Defence Front – a pro-nationalist non-governmental organisation that analyses oil geopolitics in the region – described as a “hostile act” the preparations by Exxon and Shell to test drill for oil in the Stabroek block on Guyana’s Atlantic front, the conservative daily El Universal reported here.

Martinez claimed that the concession amounts to 60 per cent of Venezuela’s Atlantic front and occupies both the offshore portion of the disputed area and an area off Venezuela’s Atlantic front, Delta Amacuro, the paper said.

Formed in the 1970s to defend Venezuela’s oil exports under US hemispheric quotas, the Venezuelan Petroleum Defence Front describes itself as an analyst of “the continued aggressions against Venezuela by Eastern Caribbean states and Guyana”.

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